CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The history, challenges and controversies surrounding two-year colleges are explored in a new book co-edited by two faculty members at the University of Illinois.
The newest edition of the ASHE Reader on Community Colleges includes more than 50 recent studies on various issues related to two-year colleges.
"The ASHE Reader on Community Colleges" is the fourth volume in a series about two-year colleges published by the Association for the Study of Higher Education and Pearson Learning Solutions. The comprehensive collection of scholarly essays provides a wide range of perspectives on community colleges, which are often overlooked in discussions of higher education institutions.
The book was co-edited by Illinois faculty members Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher, a faculty affiliate in the Office of Community College Research and Leadership, and a professor of education policy, organization and leadership; and Debra D. Bragg, director of OCCRL and a Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the College of Education.
Linda Serra Hagedorn of Iowa State University and Jaime Lester of George Mason University also were co-editors.
In more than 50 wide-ranging articles, scholars explore the historical foundations and evolution of two-year colleges in America's higher education system, along with the leadership styles of top administrators and issues such as institutional diversity and campus climate.
Zamani-Gallaher and co-author Steven R. Aragon of Texas State University discuss postsecondary access and the social missions of colleges that serve special populations in the article titled, "Promoting Access and Equity through Minority-Serving and Women's Institutions."
Founded to promote the economic development and social mobility of people of color and women, minority-serving colleges better serve their target populations than mainstream colleges and universities because educational experiences are situated within students' own social and cultural contexts, Zamani-Gallaher and Aragon write.
In other chapters, scholars examine the ongoing challenges that two-year colleges face, such as providing remediation and developmental education, workforce preparation and career-technical training, and the uncertainties of academic transfers to baccalaureate institutions.
In the book's final section, contributors explore the impact of the global economy, which is fostering development of internationalized curricula and experiences for community college students. Among the other trends and controversies examined are the evolving uses of technology and student engagement in "high-risk" online courses, which have withdrawal or failure rates of 30 percent or greater.
"The body of research on community colleges contained in this volume is vast and rich, blending theory and practice," Zamani-Gallaher said. "The fourth edition of the ASHE Reader on Community Colleges is a valuable resource for community college scholars, practitioners, policymakers and graduate students who study American higher education, especially two-year institutions of higher learning."